pastry-inspired poetry


I was super excited to hear that a Korean bakery was opening on North Lamar.  And then, one day, there it was-- a beacon of light in the middle of rush hour traffic!  Sure, I'd already kinda passed it before I could get in the right lane.  And sure, I had to do some pretty awkward maneuvering to get back to it.  But it is here and I am so soo glad.

Korean bakeries are a thing of my youth.  I grew up in a suburb of New Jersey with a large Korean community, and by the time I was in middle school we had a huge, wonderful Korean bakery in my tiny little town.  I loved it so much, in fact, that I penned this poem about it... 



If anyone buys me a birthday cake, it better come from here!

Am I really about to share a poem from years past?  Yes, apparently so.  Did I really just plug in my external hard drive and forage around in some old poetry folders to find it?  Sure did!  Here is my homage to the Korean bakery...ahem:

On Attending a Korean Bakery Late Sunday Afternoon

To me they are just cakes and breads,
the only names I know.
Twisted up in honeyed knots,
round and browned,
sweet, fragrant dough.

The softness of each foreign word,
each feathery roll and bun,
compares their lilting language
to my louder, harsher one.

Their words sing gentle gratitude
amidst my ugly utter.
But all our goods are baked the same,
whipped sugar flour butter.



basket o mochi at the counter

Awww idn't that cute?  I really need to sit down and make myself write a poem again sometime soon.  It's been way too long.  Anyway-- back to the bakery!  It is called  Tous le Jours, French for "the every day" and also apparently "LA based chain"...but the Frenchness pretty much stops there.  I mean, there was one type of croissant but it was pretty weak looking.  But why would one go to a Korean bakery for French baked goods anyway?? (Oh right, because we don't have a French bakery...)  

not a flattering pic of the place- looks much cuter in person!

As per Korean tradition, there is a stack of trays when you enter.  You are supposed to take one of these and use it to collect your goods along the way.  And the goods, by the way, range from sweet to savory and singular buns to whole loaves of bread.  I absolutely LOVE the custard-filled items, and even the plainer rolls.  Asian-style pastry, if you've never had it, is much lighter and fluffier than the Western counterpart.  And just barely sweet.

green tea latte!

I can't say I tried their coffee, but I did get a green tea latte, which was creamy and delightful- definitely made from matcha.  And just the right amount of sweetness.  I actually enjoyed it more and more as I got further into it.

I'm so glad this place now exists in our slowly diversifying little city!  I might have found my new under-the-radar wifi spot for getting work done without being surrounded by chatty undergrads.

And, who knows--  just the right bite into a cloudlike bun might have me waxing poetic once again... ;)